The Capitals celebrated their sixth win of the season, by the final score of 3-2, in front of an appreciative home crowd last night at Verizon Center.
Alexander Semin continued his magnificent start, registering two more goals to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.
Bruce Boudreau’s boys haven’t been able to crack the net much lately.
Out of 12 games played, the Capitals have lost three games by the score of 2-1 while tallying 25 shots or more.
Early on, it looked like the Capitals were going to face the same fate again.
With under a minute to play in the first period, recently-demoted F Viktor Kozlov nearly gave the home crowd fans something to cheer about.
He sent a hard slapshot that slammed hard off the far post, leaving Hurricanes wunderkind G Cam Ward sprawled out on all fours.
And yet, the score was 1-0 at the first intermission.
Carolina LW Scott Walker deflected a shot by RW Josef Melichar past G Brent Johnson at the 12:59 mark of the first period.
To add insult to injury, it was the fourth time the Caps have allowed their opponent to score on their first shot.
Russian god Sergei Federov took advantage of his promotion to the first line with both Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, by tying the score at 1-1.
Federov swiped a lead pass from Ovie on the fly and lifted the puck past Ward’s right shoulder.
Then, later in the second period, the Hurricanes regained the lead when Tuomo Ruutu skated in from the blue line and fired the puck between Johnson’s legs.
Johnson started for the second straight game, as Coach Boudreau wanted to keep the hot glove in net. (G Jose Theodore’s save percentage through nine games: 3.44)
It wasn’t until the third period that the Caps finally rewarded Johnson for his strong efforts.
Trailing 2-1 with 2:43 to go, Alexander Semin scored his first goal at point-blank range.
Then, with time running out, he ended a rush towards the net by beating Ward with a wrist shot from the right circle.
Semin has been this year’s Ovechkin for the good guys in red. He now has 10 goals in 12 games.
The Great Eight did earn three more points, as he assisted on all three goals scored.
The experiment of an all-Russian first line after one game yields a win. Score one for Gabby.
The Capitals are 10-0-1 in their last 11 regular season home games.
Hurricanes Coach Peter Laviolette remains tied with John Tortorella as the winningest American-born coach in NHL history with 239 wins.
The three goals scored by the Capitals were the fewest total in a win so far this season.
Playing in his 300th career NHL game, Shaone Morrisonn left the game in the first period with a groin injury.